India will call for bids to explore areas for coal gas by the end of this year, seeking additional energy sources to meet increasing demand.
The country plans to call bids for less than 10 coal bed methane fields, V.K. Sibal, director general of hydrocarbons, told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
India needs gas to help expand power-generating capacity by 60% to 200,000MW by 2010. Record oil prices have spurred a search for reserves in Asia’s third biggest oil consumer to cut dependence on imports that make for more than 70% of the country’s energy needs.
The government plans to announce the eighth round of auctions for exploring oil and gas areas in the second half of the fiscal ending March 2010, Sibal said. The seventh round ended last month, attracting bids for 45 of the record 57 areas offered.
India will provide additional geological data to address concerns of explorers about transparency in auctioning oil and gas fields, Sibal said.
India received 54 bids in the third round of auctioning for coal gas areas in 2006. BP Plc., GAIL (India) Ltd, Reliance Natural Resources Ltd and Arrow Energy NL were among the firms that won the rights to explore in the 10 areas with an estimated 635 billion cubic metres of gas resources.